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In the latest edition of All-Access, we return to College Park, Maryland for a behind-the-scenes look at a University of Maryland women’s basketball practice. Follow along as head coach Brenda Frese first leads the Terps through an effective rebounding drill before getting into 2-on-2 closeouts. The squad finishes up the action with a competitive full-court layup drill.
Triangle rebounding starts with three defensive players in the paint and facing away from the basket. Three offensive players will line up inside the three-point arc. Each defensive player will start moving around in the paint clockwise until a shot goes up. Once it does, the players yell “Shot” and proceed to box out the nearest offensive player. If the offense gets it, they should look to score.
There are a few ways to make it competitive. If you crash the glass and score, you get a point. If you get an offensive rebound, you get a point. If the defense gets the rebound, they must outlet to a coach right away. Rotate players immediately after the rep is over.
Next up is a 2-on-2 drill focusing on closeouts. Players start on one side of the floor and then must change their defensive positioning based on where the ball is on the perimeter (the ball gets passed from coach to coach). Players must play helpside defense and then be able to closeout off the kick.
There are two major points of emphasis here. First, players should either close out short or close out long. Short means you close out against a driver. Long mean to close out against a three-point shooter. Make them put the ball on the floor and look for opportunities to take charges. Defensively, don’t get beat down the middle. Instead, force your opponent to the baseline.
According to Coach Frese, the players can’t stand this full-court drill but it’s quite effective. The drill starts with an outlet off the backboard and players sprint the length of floor for a layup. The outlet person must follow and get that rebound and run the floor as well. Every layup counts as one. Set a make goal with your team and look to move the bar up.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Maryland Women’s Basketball Practice with Brenda Frese.” To check out more All Access videos in our exclusive collection, visit our basketball library.
In this week’s team development feature, former Naismith High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Kevin Boyle breaks down effective ways to compete against bigger, more athletic teams on the defensive end of the floor.
So how exactly do we guard people that are bigger than us? Well, if I am more athletic than you, the first thing I want to do is make the game full court. I want to play you between the foul-lines and not let you post up or pass to the wings and dump it in.
Additionally, look to get very aggressive and in the face of your opponent. Be active. Second, challenge every pass. And finally, when pressing or trapping, consider using a diamond press against a team with lower fundamentals. However, if it’s a well-coached team, they know where the traps are. Therefore, against the better teams you should trap man-to-man.
Don’t double team big guys in the backcourt. Never waste the trap in this situation, even in the diamond press. Deny everyone else hard and make the big dribble up the court. With dribbling full-court as a likely weakness, this player is more likely to make a turnover.
Use two players for this drill and start at midcourt. One player has the ball and will dribble hard to the basket and make a layup and the other one will follow. The trailing player gets the rebound.
Next, the shooter touches the foul line and gets ready to play defense against the rebounder on the baseline only. The player with the ball will shuffle side-to-side along the baseline and the defender must now guard aggressively wherever he goes. It’s about getting quickly on the ball after a make.
Get four players for this drill. It’s essentially the same drill as before except now you are going to work on getting the ball inbounds. One player will work on getting open while the other will guard his man three-quarters. When guarding, dig into the opponent with your forearm and chest, push them low, be in a position to steal, and try to be in a good defensive position if they do get the ball. Get pressure right away.
Also, if you are facing a very athletic guard, it’s important to get below the level of the ball. In other words, the player previously guarding the inbounder will now drop and help defend the speedy guard dribbling up the floor.
Earlier this year, we revealed a variety of sets from the Princeton Offense, including a common formation called “Chin“, the 5 Out formation, and several low post options. This week, follow along with coach Lee DeForest as he takes the offense one step further with “Point.” Now with these four sets at your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to implementing the Princeton Offense effectively to your overall offensive scheme.
Start with your players lined up in Chin (see above). We begin with the ball up top with one guard. He waves through the opposite guard. That guard will cut through the paint and to the opposite corner. The pivot (after the wave through) will go block to block and fill the opposite elbow. Try to time it so that when the guard is cutting off the elbow, the pivot is filling the elbow.
As soon as we make the pass to the elbow, the nearside forward will drop to the corner. The key to this play is this: After the pass, whichever cut the passer/guard makes, that’s what set we are in. If he cuts over the top of the pivot, then we are in Over. If he cuts to the rim, we are in Under. If he cuts away from the basketball, we are in Away.
If the guard cuts over the pivot, the near corner forward must read this. The forward acts like he’s coming off the down screen, rejects it, and cuts backdoor. Look for the backdoor pass baseline. All the other players must make this read.
From this point, if there is no shot, look to go for a side screen and roll with the guard on the wing and the pivot on the elbow. Look to pull the post defender out. After the screen, the pivot should be rolling. Meanwhile, the forwards on the other side will be involved in a down screen. If it’s not working, you can get back into Chin from here.
Point is effective to run if the defense is picking up the pressure. The play is cued by waving the other guard through. Many teams like to double team the ball screen, so look to pull teams out to half court. Take the defenders away from the basket but don’t let the point guard pick up his dribble.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Winning with the Princeton Style Offense.” Check out more videos focusing on effective basketball offensive systems by visiting our extensive library.
In this week’s edition of All Access, we take you back to Evanston, Illinois for a behind-the-scenes look at a Northwestern University women’s lacrosse practice.
Follow along as the Wildcats begin with a high-intensity training session in the gym that includes rapid-fire agility moves and boxing. The practice finishes up on the lacrosse field as head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller leads her squad through multi-purpose drills focusing on feeds from behind the net.
The Wildcats secured their seventh national championship in the last eight years back on May 27 with a comeback victory over Syracuse.
We begin with a typical Northwestern team training session as the squad gets warmed up with indoor agility and conditioning drills. Players jog indoors while alternating moves like cariocas, skips, air punches, and floor touches. The team eventually moves into a round of boxing training using gloves and punchbags.
Next, the team moves indoors for feeding, cutting, and shooting drills. These effective drills incorporate every position on the field and replicate typical game scenarios.
The Set-Up: Two feeders will be positioned behind the cage, two defenders will set up on the crease, and two lines of offensive players will be positioned up top.
The Action: Feeders will scoop up a ball and come around a side of the cage where they will be met by a defender. The feeder should look to pass to the opposite-side offensive player cutting in for a catch and shoot opportunity. Work on making in-and-out movements, leaving room for the stick, curling away from defenders, and making an accurate feed.
Tips: Shooters must time their cuts and this takes great practice. Remember to have patience until your teammates are ready to make the feed. Also, when you catch the pass, leave yourself a good angle to put the shot away.
Meanwhile, defenders should wait for the feeders to move before going out and pressuring them. Don’t get there too early.25
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “All Access Northwestern Lacrosse Practice.” To check out the latest All Access videos, click here. Recent videos feature the Stanford and Syracuse lacrosse programs.
Have trouble stopping standout players on opposing teams? In the latest team concepts feature, learn effective ways to address match-up concerns in a game. Stevens head men’s lacrosse coach Gene Peluso walks you through his team’s go-to play to shut down the opposition’s best weapon. Improve your defense this year by incorporating these exclusive tips with your own squad.
Overview: Consider this play whenever you encounter major match-up problems in a game. “Black” means that we will lock a specific player or players. This is when we must take them totally out of the play. In these cases, the defender locking the player has no sliding assignments while the black call is in effect.
If the blacking player takes us to the crease, we must make sure we are playing a sliding defense that does not incorporate the crease. In other words, look to play team defense that doesn’t require a crease slide. Communication is key here as there must be a call in place to make sure we are not sliding from the crease.
Goal: In blacking situations, the goal is to make it very difficult for this player to get the ball. Make sure that you are prepared to communicate through things if he moves us to the crease or gets the ball.
As for the defender locked on the black offensive player, it’s his job and only job to make sure his opponent doesn’t get the ball. The rest play 5-on-5. However, this defender is released of any team defense responsibilities. If he is taken to the crease, we need to slide from a different spot. Therefore, we have to realize that he is not part of the package and we must react defensively.
Coach Peluso uses this drill frequently in practices and pre-game to work on game-like unsettled situations and match-up issues. To get started, have your offensive players lined up at the midfield line. Meanwhile, get the defense lined up on the sideline. Next, a coach will roll a ball out and call out a number for the offense such as “four.” This means that four players will go in on offense. The defense will always send one less defender so the scenario plays out 4-vs-3.
Tips: Look to play to a shot or to a clear. Incorporate your transition offense and defense. Add a wrinkle by switching the offense to the sideline and defense to the midline. You can also add different scenarios to mix things up, like where the offense has one less player than the defense. Play to points to make it competitive. Coach Peluso’s players really get pumped for this drill. Add this one to your practice plan if you’re looking for an effective team favorite.
The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Drills and Techniques to Develop Up-Tempo Defense” with Gene Peluso. Check out our entire catalog of defensive lacrosse videos by clicking here.